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Global developmental delay concerns
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Global developmental delay concerns

Hi,

We are beginning the evaluation process for our 22 1/2 month old but as we are also in the process of moving back to the U.S. The process is slow and I would like more info now if possible. Our daughter has gross motor delay (she rolled over, sat up, and crawled late, and is still not walking on her own) but I am also concerned about speech and possibly social problems. She was a very passive newborn, but a happy, very smiley baby. She has only begun using words of any kind in the last 6 weeks, and has maybe a vocab of 25 words.  She rarely uses any spontaneous language except to say "down" when she wants to be picked up or put down, "Daddy" when he comes home from work (she's not really saying Mommy yet), or "cow" when we pass a field of cows grazing. She does babble. She rarely seems to understand "point to the..." or "show me the..." when we read, and she doesn't have much patience for reading anyway (she does like to look at the pics in books, however).  She also doesn't seem to understand commands, such as "bring me the ball", but does understand what "no" means. She does some occassional pointing to things or holding things up for me to see. She still continues to be most expressive by crying/shorts screechs. I don't think her hearing is a problem. She also teethed very late, her back teeth came in first, and she still is missing her front lower teeth and incisors. On the social side, she does show affection from time to time(excited when Daddy comes home, ocassionally gives kisses when asked or pats us, seems to know when someone is very upset) but overall is not cuddly and doesn't like to be held for long. She does express having fun if you toss her up in the air or if she slides across a pile of pillows.  She is very uncomfortable around stangers and new situations until she gets to know them very well.  She mostly plays with blocks and really likes lining things up, pouring water or sand, pushing toy cars/trains around.  She seems very interested in peices and parts. She has never really had a "lovey" object like a stuffed animal or blanket, though she does like to pull blankets over her head to sleep. She does feed herself well, and in fact her fine motor is somewhat advanced i.e. can use a spoon well, builds towers of 8 blocks and has a good pincer grip. She also seems very interested in and is good with numbers and likes to try to count. She will watch her older sister, 3, play with friends, but is most happy to be by herself.  Her sister is very precocious, very empathic, and extrememly verbal, so using her as a comparison doesn't help.  

My question is, do toddlers with high-functioning PDD, autism, or Asperger's also have the gross motor delay?  Do kids with these conditions sometimes or occassionally display affection, interest in others, or is their level of interaction (or lack of) always consistent?  Just not sure what kind of diagnosis I should be prepared for as her assessments continue.  Thank you for your input.
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Children with a diagnosis along the PDD spectrum do not always have delays in gross motor development. Deficiencies in gross motor development are not particularly associated with PDD diagnoses, though of course they might occur alongside a PDD diagnosis. And the deficit in interaction which is typical of children with PDD varies quite a bit. Children at the higher end of the spectrum certainly do interact with others, though they usually do so in a very idiosyncratic way that may come across as eccentric or odd. Your description indicates that your daughter will be found to display several developmental disorders, and you are doing the correct thing by having her undergo a thorough diagnostic process. An important aspect of evaluating very young children is to examine the various spheres of development (physical, cognitive, social, emotional) and determine the child's status in each of the areas.
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OH MY GOD. This sounds totally like my son EXCEPT he was overly friendly to everyone and would go to anyone, never had separation anxiety until older.  But the not understanding simple commands, lack of speech (not even Mommy), high intelligence, love of music etc. all of it hit home with me - I used to say he was "in the zone".  He is now 6.5 yrs and has only a ADHD diagnosis under his belt at this time, although I think there could be other stuff going on ... but at 30 months was diagnosed as "Globally Delayed" and placed in an Austism Spectrum preschool class (since those are the type of symptoms he presented with) where he excelled.  Although he still struggles with many issues every day (ADHD, SI issues, anxiety, speech issues etc.) he is NOT autistic.  Please just don't let them label your child until you know for sure.  PDD is so broad and I feel they are so quick to throw them into that category whehn all else fails.  I was very fortunate that my town has a WONDERFUL program.  He went from not speakiing at all (just jargoning) to 3 word sentences in less than a month. When I heard "I want milk" come out of his moth at 3 yrs. old I almost fell over with joy and could not praise him enough.  I am not sure where you are moving to, we are in Massachusetts, but if you want to talk to me for any reason, please leave your e-mail address and I will respond.
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